Much has been written about the historical backgrounds of the Regietheater in opera, also in Opera Gazet. We can deal with historical explanations exhaustively as much as we like, but in the meantime we are stuck with it: the drifting Regietrash constantly flows through the sewers of European opera houses, the handkerchief with eau-de-cologne can no longer compete with it.
The Regietheater is an evil and malignant phenomenon that has been able to take hold without encountering any significant opposition. People will look in vain for intellectual justification. Regietrash is an expression of a so-called “modern sense of life”, a cherished gem in the cultural baggage of Today’s People; if you don’t surrender to it, you belong to a fossil generation that polishes its 78 rpm records every week and with melancholy look at the signed photo of Magda Olivero hanging on the wall.
There is no well-drafted story with reasons why a libretto does not need to be respected. One gets no further than nonsensical one-liners. The fallacies with which Johnny Modern tries to justify the Entführung aus dem Serail placed in a brothel have long been known. There is a kind of top-50. We have listed 10 of them. Here is the fifth one.
Opera should be understood by modern people by modern means.
“Modern people”, the scourge of opera. Today’s People! They go to an opera… for the sole purpose of going to an opera. They imagine themselves in the intellectual vanguard and uncritically imitate the humbug of the Regietrash directors. Not bothered by any knowledge of singers, voices, opera and performance tradition they use a despicable jargon in which qualitatively irrelevant empty phrases like ” actual” (“has lost nothing of its actuality!“), ” urgent ” and “disorientating ” play the main role, not to mention “the new jacket” in which operas are dressed, so that courtesan Violetta can be turned into a vulgar street whore. Today’s People, a deplorable species…